I’ve been thinking about what a well-stocked pantry should look like. These are the things that I almost always have in my kitchen. They are the long-lasting items that I can keep around and count on. They are the building blocks of a good meal, supplemented weekly with fresh foods, and replenished regularly.
- Canned Beans (My favorites are chickpeas, black beans, and cannellini beans)
- Dry Beans (My favorites are lentils, split peas, and black beans)
- Grains (My favorites are brown rice, basmati brown rice, quinoa, and pasta)
- Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Sauces
- Silken Tofu and Soy Milk (A lot of grocery stores don’t realize this, but the vacuum-sealed cartons are shelf-stable.)
- A Few Key Spices (For me the most important ones are salt/pepper, curry powder/paste, cumin, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon)
- Veggie Bouillon (in case I run out of homemade broth)
- Peanut Butter!
- Popcorn Kernels
- Olive Oil
- Baking Supplies (flour, sugar, baking powder/soda, vanilla extract)
- Dried Fruits (usually prunes and cranberries)
- Nuts (My favorites are cashews and almonds)
- I buy other, faster-spoiling produce on at least a weekly basis, of course, but the above are the three things I always have.
- Homemade Veggie Broth (of course)
- A Few Veggies (Usually broccoli, spinach, corn, etc.)
- A Few Fruits (Usually bananas and blueberries)
- A Few Containers of Frozen Leftovers
Those are my absolute basic necessities. With those foods on hand, I will never starve and never be faced with last-minute oh-yeah-I-forgot-that-I-would-need-to-eat-dinner-tonight-holy-crap-what-should-I-do-should-I-just-get-take-out panic, which saves me money big-time!
In the next few days I will post some of my favorite “pantry recipes” that utilize these staples.
What are your staples?